From White Belt to Black Belt – the BailongBall Grading System

In order to standardize and popularize BailongBall forms (Taolu), specialists from a number of sports organizations, such as Beijing Sports University (北体大), China Elderly Sports Association (老体协), Beijing National Traditional Sports Association (北京市民族传统体育协会) and others have developed a system of sports grades – Duanwei System, similar to what we find in Wushu.

Promotional video of the Beijing National Traditional Sports Association

Prof. Bai Rong

One of the scientific consultants of this system became Professor Bai Rong.

The grading system is comprised of nine grades (Duan), which in turn are grouped into three levels – “beginner”, “intermediate” and “advanced”. Every Duan corresponds to a certain color (white, red, orange, yellow, green, cyan, blue, purple, black), as well as to an emblem with the image of one of the four mythical animals (green dragon, white tiger, red bird, black turtle) or one of the five elements of the Chinese tradition (metal, wood, water, fire, earth).

Applicants for a certain grade must demonstrate the appropriate standard BailongBall forms (taolu), which are evaluated by a special expert commission. For example, for the 1st duan, it is necessary to perform a complex of 8 forms of BailongBall, for the 2nd duan – 8 forms and 16 forms, for the 3rd duan – 16 forms and 24 forms, for the 4th duan – 24 forms and 36 forms, etc.

All taolu are designed and composed by the Secretary General of Beijing BailongBall Association Tong Baomin. After successfully passing the exam, the applicant receives the grade certificate of assignment of the respective duan, along with a T-shirt of the corresponding color with an emblem and a wristband.

It should be noted that the conclusion of the successful passing of the exam is the ceremony of taking the oath. This ceremony is an important part of Chinese traditional etiquette and culture. With their oath, all graduates promise to actively participate in the development of BailongBall, protecting its cultural tradition. An interesting feature of the system is its philosophy based on Chinese spiritual traditions. Each Duan has its own inner meaning and spirit. They are described with special figurative phrases.










Finally, consider an interesting illustrative table. Here we have summarized information about the correspondence of each duan to a certain color, symbol or element, as well as its inner sense and state of the spirit:

In one of out next posts, we’ll interview Irina to get first hand impressions on the program and the exam. Did we peak your interest? Just contact us.

Color your game and stay tuned 🙂

Irina Rusavina
BailongBall Instructor

Mike Ritz
BailongBall Trainer

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